Stars of the CIAA
Some of the tournament’s best performers.
by Rodney King
The 99th CIAA tournament was not short of excitement. Many great players showed that they can play when the spotlight was on.
Shaw University took home the men’s and women’s championship this year with the help of standouts Raheem and Tony Smith. But they weren’t the only great players who laced up their sneakers this week.
Here’s a list of a few stand-out guys from this year’s tournament:
Trevin Parks, sophomore guard, Johnson C. Smith University: The CIAA Player of the Year led the Golden Bulls with 26 points in their opening win over Chowan. He followed that up with 15 points against Bowie State University and 13 points against Shaw in the tournaments semifinals. Parks was the conferences leading scorer clocking 22 points per game for the 16-11 JCSU squad, good for 10th in the nation.
Trent Bivens, senior guard, Elizabeth City University: Helped Elizabeth City make it to the men’s quarterfinals scoring 12 points in the school’s first game. It was also his defensive ability that helped pace the Vikings. He scored another 12 points and added 6 rebounds in the teams lost to Shaw in the quarters.
Raheem Smith, senior point guard, Shaw University: The tournament MVP scored 19 points in the team’s big win over Elizabeth City in the quarterfinals. One of the best players in the conference, Smith showed poise and leadership as he led his team to the conference championship and a guaranteed spot in the Division II national tournament.
Tony Smith, junior guard, Shaw University: While Raheem Smith was the team and tourney standout, Tony was pretty good himself. He chipped in 12 points and played great defense as the Bears pushed past ESU in the quaterfinals. He added another 10 points in the teams semifinal victory of Johnson C. Smith.
Devon McClendon, junior guard, Shaw: The heads-up guard was all over the court for Shaws victories in the semi’s and finals. He showed up big in the team’s game against ESU, pulling down 11 boards. He led the Bears with 14 points and 9 rebounds in the championship game.
Darrius Cox, senior forward, Livingstone: Cox helped the Livingstone Bears get to their first ever finals appearance with his 21-point, 10-rebound effort against Fayetville State University. He added 19 points and 11 rebounds in the team’s loss against would-be conference champions Shaw University.